|Canaille's widely slept-on Practical Men album is one of the best Toronto jazz recordings you've never heard.|
Following the release of 2009’s all acoustic Potential Things, Canaille grew into an electric sextet with a sonic conception rooted in Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis mixed with a healthy dose of vintage ethio-funk of Mulatu Astatke and topped with the bent melodic sense of late 1950s Sun Ra. In fact, the group's amazing second full-length Practical Men – recorded & engineered by Jeff McMurrich and released by Komino Records in 2011 – came neatly bookended by two Akestra classics, "Watusa" and "Love In Outer Space."
Featured on the Practical Men album along with Jeremy Strachan (bari/alto/flute/guitar) is Jay Hay (tenor), Nicolas Buligan (trumpet), Jesse Levine (keyboards), Mike Smith (bass) and Dan Gaucher (drums) who together knocked out what sounds like a lost private-press spiritual jazz masterwork from the mid-70s. Fans of contemporary artists drawing on similar inspiration such as The Heliocentrics, El Michels Affair, Yesterdays New Quintet, Whitfield Brothers, Atlantis Jazz Ensemble, Karl Hector & The Malcouns will be pleasantly surprised by Canaille's unjustly overlooked gem. Have a listen below.